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Wind farm opponents say data vital  

Meridian Energy is being called on to disclose wind data information for its Project Hayes wind farm on the Lammermoor Range.

The Maniototo Environmental Society, one of the groups opposing the wind farm, is seeking disclosure at an Environment Court hearing in Christchurch on April 17.

Society spokesman Grahame Sydney said the society was being stonewalled by Meridian Energy as it tried to find out important data on wind speed and frequency.

‘‘We have suspicions about the data,”Mr Sydney said.

‘‘It wasn’t presented in any way that could be persuasive at the hearing.”

The society had tried for several weeks to obtain the relevant data from the Central Otago District Council but a small report which was presented to the commissioners was the extent of the data it received.

Mr Sydney said wind data was absolutely crucial for the project.

‘‘The information we have received doesn’t include the three months of winter when the demand is the highest and wind is non-existent. We don’t need the data from midnight till 6am, as the only people using the power then would be at the Tiwai [aluminium smelter] plant.

“We need hourly data for the hours between 7am and 9pm, when the peak power is being used. This critical data has never been offered to the public and it is surely the foundation for any wind farm proposed.

“If the data was assembled over a long period of time and was persuasive beyond doubt, then why not present it to the public as the absolute and undeniable foundation for promoting this scheme?

“Should the world’s biggest wind farm be built on two or three years of assembled data? We think not,” he said.

The society wants hour-by-hour data provided, as the wind farm is to have priority on the grid and the peak times for demand are crucial.

By Diane Brown

Otago Daily Times

1 April 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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